Thursday, October 24, 2019

"He's going to be a massive player in the future"

Cesar Azpilicueta has backed Callum Hudson-Odoi to be a "massive player" for Chelsea despite him failing to have a significant impact in his side's 1-0 win over Ajax.

The 18-year-old struggled in his first Champions League start, with the Blues needing Michy Batshuayi's late strike to earn them all three points in the Group H encounter.

And Azpilicueta has nothing but praise for the winger, insisting that he will continue to learn and improve as he works with the more experienced players in the squad.

Reviewing Hudson-Odoi's performance, he said: "We can't forget that Callum is 18 years old and his progression in the last 12-15 months, with an injury in between... we have to be realistic.

"The way he worked for the team, the way he always showed the ability to get the ball, to dribble, not to have any fear and hide in-between the full-back, I think Callum is a very important player for us.

"He's going to be a massive player in the future for Chelsea but we have to accept the progression. To be 18 years old and the way he's playing is amazing. The players who have more experience in these games try to help the young lads.

"For some of them it's the first year in the Premier League, the first year in the Champions League, so we have to be a help for all of them, use our experience to keep them confident and make them express themselves the way they have been doing in the academy.

"It is very important for them to feel confident. It is the way we are working but a lot of credit goes to them because they are good lads, they listen, they want to improve in every training session and learn from the more experienced players, the manager and the staff. It is the right way to keep improving."

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